In high school a new kind of relationship is added to a young girl’s life, it is called boyfriend. Decades before the dating compatibility tests and surveys, the astringent qualification process required cool, cute, thin, wavy long hair, nice teeth and he must look like a particular celebrity. I was a young girl in the Philippines in the 60’s. I found my match, several times.
The first guy was a literal boy next door, Willy. He was thin (had asthma), wore glasses (looked like Derek Leckenby of Herman’s Hermits), has a father in jail but that was not a big deal. I was energetic physically, assertive emotionally and sharp intellectually. Willy could not keep up with me due to his health condition and poor family background, both of which did not matter to me. Willy dumped me.
The second BF was Hal, 21, a working college student. Hal looked like David Jones of the Monkees if the actor/singer was a Filipino. He has a gold tooth I loved, I had one too, a match made in dental heaven. I was so eager to start dating that I couldn’t wait for him to ask me out. I actually brought it up to reassure him that it’s alright. I figured he must be apprehensive because I was 13. We met up secretly and went to a movie where I waited for the first make out of my life. It did not happen. It simply shows that even without a sexual harassment law men actually know when it’s wrong. Hal dumped me.
My third BF was James, 15, a tall, dark and thin elder brother of my best friend/classmate. He has wavy hair, nice teeth and he looked like George Harrison with his starter mustache Filipinos call “balahibong pusa” which means soft as a kitty’s fur. This was the point where the mustache was added as a criterion for judging. James can dance and we went to dance parties. He was my first kiss when my nanny was not looking and my date to my high school graduation party. For unexplained reason, James dumped me that summer vacation.
My fourth BF was Ely, 18, a fellow member of a college organization. He has a mustache though not kitty soft. He wore a French beret because he was a fan of Che Guevara, every guy in campus was at that time. He has nice looking buck teeth which I loved. He was my BF during org events but he never took me on a date or tried to make out. Ely dumped me again for an unexplained reason.
The fifth BF, Eddie, 19, was an aspiring hitman with a shiny cal. 45 pistol tucked in his belt. He looked like Christopher de Leon with a full beard and mustache Filipinos call “balbas sarado”. He upstaged all the previous facial hair. I was excited by the fact that I was making out with a gunman. He was very sexual and that kept me going for two years. Then life got real and the excitement wore off. I dumped the macho BF and married a guy who looked like Joey Marquez with a receding hair line and not a strand of facial hair. And we lived unhappily ever after.
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